David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 61 (4):387 - 401 (2005)
Tobacco companies have started to position themselves as good corporate citizens. The effort towards CSR engagement in the tobacco industry is not only heavily criticized by anti-tobacco NGOs. Some opponents such as the the World Health Organization have even categorically questioned the possibility of social responsibility in the tobacco industry. The paper will demonstrate that the deep distrust towards tobacco companies is linked to the lethal character of their products and the dubious behavior of their representatives in recent decades. As a result, tobacco companies are not in the CSR business in the strict sense. Key aspects of mainstream CSR theory and practice such as corporate philanthropy, stakeholder collaboration, CSR reporting and self-regulation, are demonstrated to be ineffective or even counterproductive in the tobacco industry. Building upon the terminology used in the leadership literature, the paper proposes to differentiate between transactional and transformational CSR arguing that tobacco companies can only operate on a transactional level. As a consequence, corporate responsibility in the tobacco industry is based upon a much thinner approach to CSR and has to be conceptualized with a focus on transactional integrity across the tobacco supply chain.
|Keywords||CSR corporate philanthropy organizational legitimacy tobacco industry the common good integrity transactional CSR transformational CSR|
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Citations of this work BETA
Grahame R. Dowling (2013). The Curious Case of Corporate Tax Avoidance: Is It Socially Irresponsible? Journal of Business Ethics:1-12.
Ye Cai, Hoje Jo & Carrie Pan (2012). Doing Well While Doing Bad? CSR in Controversial Industry Sectors. Journal of Business Ethics 108 (4):467 - 480.
Justin Tan (2009). Institutional Structure and Firm Social Performance in Transitional Economies: Evidence of Multinational Corporations in China. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 86 (2):171 - 189.
Ulf Henning Richter (2011). Drivers of Change: A Multiple-Case Study on the Process of Institutionalization of Corporate Responsibility Among Three Multinational Companies. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 102 (2):261-279.
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